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THE PYRAMID                             45
with the dimensions of the Great Pyramid in order to predict the outbreak of wars and the fall 6f governments, the recon-stitution of the Christian Church and the return of Christ, the economic woes of the world and the divine mission of English-speaking peoples, the cataclysmic upheaval of land and sea, and so on.
One may remember, however, that Piazzi Smyth himself gave the date 1881 as the year of the millennium. One remembers, too, that May, 1928, was for long given by this school as the most fateful month in world history, but it passed uneventfully. The most fateful month was then transferred to September, 1936, which, we were told, had really been indicated by the Pyramid's dimensions. Nevertheless, neither Armageddon nor the Millennium was to be seen on that day. Thereupon the date was altered to August 10, 1953. Once again the prediction proved incorrect.
The claim that this massive structure was built at unprecedented expense and labour, not for the benefit of existing or proximate people, not even for the benefit of Egyptian posterity, but for the benefit of people who were to follow nearly five thousand years after and who were to dwell in alien continents, is naturally not easy for any rationalist to accept. Even granting that these theorists have correctly noted some of the mathematical proportions and interior features of the Great Pyramid, it seems that they have run off at a tangent and plunged into a plethora of predictions which have no visible link with those facts. The essence of their theory is that God persuaded the early Egyptians to write a stone message to our epoch, but He could quite as effectively have communicated that message to-day directly, simply and more successfully through some human prophet, rather than take the hazards of finding his cryptic stone message either unread, as it was through all past centuries, or misunderstood, as it may so easily have been in ours.
But if one is unable to accept these peculiar theories, one may respect the sincere motives of their propagandists, to whom we may even be grateful for the interest they have aroused in the spiritual significance of this unique structure.
The nature of the Pyramid's true purpose and the symbolical meaning of the Sphinx are two of the most fascinating and interesting riddles which Egypt has set her habitants and visitors alike, yet the two which are most difficult to solve.